Saddam Hussein's staunchest ally is 90 miles from America, and his name is Fidel Castro.
In the late 1980s, Cuban orthopedic surgeon Rodrigo Alvarez Cambras removed a lethal tumor in Hussein's back. Hussein generously remunerated Cambras-also head of the Cuban-Iraqi Friendship Association-who gave the money to Castro and received a mansion in Havana's elite Miramar area.
Cambras visited Baghdad in July to give Hussein a message from Castro. Cuba's 43-year long despot expressed "the solidarity of Cuba" with Hussein and congratulated him on the 34th anniversary of the socialist Ba'ath Party's coup in Iraq.
Castro and Hussein have obvious similarities. Both enslave countries, promote terrorism, and detest America.
Another trait connects these despots: hatred of Jews specifically manifested against the Jewish homeland.
Saddam Hussein's hostility to Israel is infamous. This is the man who attacked Israel with 39 Scud missiles in 1991. This is the man who sends checks to the families of suicide bombers who massacre Israeli civilians.
Hussein representatively said on September 28, "…in targeting Iraq, the United States administration is acting on behalf of Zionism, which has been killing the heroic people of Palestine, destroying their property, murdering their children, and seeking to impose their domination on the whole world."
And what are Castro's views of Israel?
Last June in Havana, Castro led a rally of approximately 10,000 that protested Israeli "genocide." The rally culminated a week of "Palestinian solidarity" activities organized by the regime.
A student who addressed the rally declared, "We want to demand the end of the genocide against our brother Arab nation. Long live the heroic Palestinian people! Long live the Arab peoples who fight against imperialism! Socialism or death!"
At last September's "World Conference against Racism" in Durban, South Africa, Castro referred to Israel's "ongoing genocide against the Palestinian people." This March during a televised speech in Havana he referred to "revolting and brutal killings such as the ones carried out by the State of Israel…against the people of Palestine."
Accordingly, Castro's media regularly depict Israel as a Nazi regime. (One of the anti-Israel books Cuba has published is entitled Zionism: The Fascism of the Star of David.) Radio Rebelde talks about "Jews who are now practicing genocide against Palestinians" (9/3/01); periodical Granma International features headlines like "Sharon announces continuation of Palestinian holocaust" (4/9/02), "Crusade against the Arab people from Washington and Tel Aviv" (8/21/02), and "Israeli genocide continues against the Palestinian people" (8/30/02).
Castro and Hussein's anti-Zionism often results in partnerships to delegitimize Israel. For instance, in 1991 both voted against repealing the 1975 United Nations resolution equating Zionism with racism. (Cuba and Iraq co-sponsored the resolution in 1975.)
The Iraqi News Agency reported when Cambras visited Hussein in April for his birthday, "Condemning the Zionist crimes against our people in Palestine, Cambras described them as Nazi crimes…He called on the world and its governments to take a decisive stand against the crimes of the Zionist aggressors."
Like Hussein, Castro has a long history of backing aggression against Israel. From sending thousands of troops to aid Syria in the 1973 Yom Kippur War through the present training of Palestinian terrorists, Castro is in the vanguard of anti-Zionist violence. (The most notorious terrorist Cuba has trained is Illich Rámirez Sánchez, a.k.a. Carlos the Jackal.)
Over 90% of Cuban Jews have fled since Castro came to power, and those who remain can't denounce the barrage of venom against Israel. If they criticize Castro or his foreign policy, Jews can be charged with "crimes" such as "disrespect" and "enemy propaganda."
Cuban Jew Tony Fune observes, "I understand that we have no freedom of speech, no freedom of the press, no freedom to travel, no freedom to choose how we will educate our children. And I understand that's not right."
The Anti-Defamation League, which describes itself as "the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism," hasn't issued so much as a press release on Cuba. The B'nai B'rith, "the world's best known Jewish human rights" organization, ignores the systematic violation of Cuban Jews' human rights. In fact, the B'nai B'rith plans to visit Cuba in December, pouring money into an archenemy of the Jewish homeland.
President Bush talks about regime change in Iraq. Hussein's terrorist brother in Havana deserves likewise, and Cuba's captive Jews deserve the solidarity of their free brethren.